On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – WEDNESDAY JUNE 6, 1917
There will cloudy skies over the city today with thunderstorms this evening and probably tomorrow. The high will be about 80° and the low near 65°. Mayor Smith is working with the Bureau of City Property and the city’s forester to designate unused tracks of land for cultivation as vegetable gardens. So far a number of parks and squares have been chosen as demonstration gardens. They are: Clark Park, 43rd & Baltimore Avenue; Gorgas Park, Ridge Avenue & Hermitage Street; Stinger Park, 33rd & Dickinson Streets; McPherson Square, Indiana Avenue and F Street; Vernon Park, Greene Street & Chelten Avenue; Mifflin Square, 6th & Wolf Streets; Stenton Park, 18th & Wyoming Avenue and Disston Park, Keystone & Longshore Streets.
It is the graduation season for our area’s schools, colleges and universities. Today Drexel Institute held exercises in its auditorium at 32nd & Chestnut Streets where degrees were awarded to 188 graduates in the engineering school, the school of domestic sciences and art and the secretarial school. Graduation exercises were also held at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy today. Two hundred and sixty eight young druggists received diplomas at this the 96th commencement of the school. Also 10 new young doctors were awarded degrees at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy at the college hall, 19th & Spring Garden. Finally 17 women physicians received their medical degrees from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania at exercises held at Garrick Theatre this morning.
For an hour-and-a-half yesterday an American armed merchant ship fought a life and death battle with a German submarine. The German boat was first sighted 7000 yards from the ship. It carried 2 six-inch guns, 1 forward and 1 aft. As the submarine approached the steamship fired and the fight began. The submarine fired 35 shots in total at the ship while the steamship fired 25 in return. But the day went to the American ship, whose name has not been released. The guns on the merchant ship were manned by American naval personnel. The last shot fired by the Americans literally blew the submarine out of the water. It came down on its stern and sank below the waves. The ship’s captain and the commander of the naval guard both believe the submarine was sunk.
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